Theoretical Approaches Supporting Workplace Innovation

  • Peter R. A. Oeij
  • Steven Dhondt
Part of the Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being book series (AHSW)


The theoretical underpinning of Workplace Innovation (WPI) is badly needed. Currently, there are scattered theoretical approaches that focus on human relations, systems and work organisation, change processes, and strategic business choices or a combination of these. We propose a working definition of WPI and subsequently relate approaches and supporting theories to that definition. We do not intend to formulate a definitive theory, but to demarcate what we are talking about as a community of scientific, business/HR and policy practice, in order to set out a path for aligning future research and theory development of WPI. The purpose is to show how these approaches support WPI practices and its claims for results and to discuss what we can learn from each approach for WPI. This contribution regards WPI as a means to simultaneously improve organisational performance and the quality of working life.


Workplace innovation Organisational performance Quality of working life 



We would like to thank Frank D. Pot for our fruitful discussions and for commenting on earlier drafts. However, the authors are responsible for the final text.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TNO, The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific ResearchLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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